Swine flu has been in the news long enough for patterns to emerge. Some people are more likely to get it, more likely to die of it.
Middle age and old people are less likely to be victims of swine flu than children. This makes sense if we remember that exposure to microbes for decades can help stimulate the creation of antibodies. Perhaps there are family similarities of swine flu to other viruses that have been around longer. Young people have had less time to build immunities.
Several U.S. hospitals have noticed that admitted swine flue patients are more likely than the general population to be seriously overweight and to be diabetic. Pigs are special.
As reported by The Washington Post on 19 May 2009, "Hospitalized Swine Flu Patients in California Had Underlying Conditions", by David Brown and Robin Shulman. In a sample of 30 people with severe flu cases, the average age was 27.5 years, so no extremes of age. "We were surprised by the frequency of obesity..." Other conditions affecting flu resistance were advanced pregnancy, diabetes, asthma, emphysema, heart disease, and immunity disorders. Note that all but the pregnancy can be caused or aggravated by obesity.
We really should not be surprised by this. Here are just a few of the diseases whose likelihood and severity are increased with over weight and under exercise. The internet has numerous excellent resources to support this claim, including publications by university hospitals, government sponsored studies, clinics, and the good old U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Do note that obesity and under exercise contribute to each other.
* abdominal hernias
* Alzheimer's / dementia
* cancer - bowel / colon
* cancer - breast
* cancer - esophagus
* cancer - gallbladder
* cancer - kidney
* cancer - lungs
* cancer - ovaries
* cancer - pancreas
* cancer - prostate
* cancer - uterus
* carpal tunnel syndrome
* deep vein thrombosis
* diabetes and its related health problems
* gall bladder disease
* heart disease
* liver malfunction
* low-back pain
* periodontal (gum) disease
* respiratory problems
* sleep apnea
* stress incontinence and leaking urine
* varicose veins
Diseases not caused by obesity can still be made worse by it. Big example is multiple sclerosis.
Does this mean that skinny people can't get diseases? Of course not! We are talking about risk (likelihood) and resistance (how well you can fight disease, once afflicted). On average, you can cut decades off your life span by being stupid. The greatest health stupidities now are poor nutrition, little exercise, and use of tobacco.
Not a single magic pill, herbal capsule, or quack diet matters in this. Vitamin and mineral supplements are different from quackery, if used in sensible doses.
The body is a biological machine. Keep it tuned up with good nutrition and moderate exercise to feel good and resist most scary chronic diseases. You do NOT need to be a muscle builder. Some stretches and a daily walk might be enough, and can be done at nearly any age after infancy. Give it a try.
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Wellness is a life style. See how easy it is to manage weight without hunger, at easyhealthdiet.com/diet.htm. Easy exercise at all ages stimulates immunity to common scary diseases, easyhealthdiet.com/eeaa.htm. Author Dr. Don Miller
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